Spider-scribe Christos Gage spoke at length with CBR about Superior Spider-Man Annual #2, coming in March. Gage discusses Goblin Nation and Ben & Phil Urich:
In a lot of ways, Phil is almost a dark, mirror image of Peter Parker. He was close to his Uncle Ben [Urich], and when he acquired great power, he took on the responsibility of being a hero. But in his case, the source of that power is the Goblin Formula, and sooner or later, everyone who is changed by that formula goes insane. And it happened to Phil, too. The question is whether he’s redeemable. Can he be saved? This is something Ben Urich is struggling with. Ben lost his wife not long ago, and he’s not going to let Phil go without a fight. I can tell you that both I and artist Javier Rodriguez were tickled pink to be doing a Ben Urich focused story, because of how much we loved the great Frank Miller Ben Urich stories of the past.
The cool thing about this Annual is that I get to explore stuff there literally wasn’t room for in the jam-packed main series, but that is an important part of the saga. In fact, the events of the second story in the Annual are so tied into the “Goblin Nation” storyline — and significant to it — I literally can’t tell you what it’s about without spoilers.
It simply won’t do to have anything spoiled before Marvel can leak it to the Associated Press prior to the issue’s release! While Gage was jawing with CBR, Amazing Spider-Man: Who Am I? co-writer Joshua Hale Fialkov was talking to Newsarama about that digital comic coming in April:
Well, as we meet Spider-Man, his memory is gone, and he’s in the process of robbing a bank. Which, it seems, he’s done a lot of both in the past few months, and after an online search of the Daily Bugle‘s archives, over the course of his adult life. He doesn’t know that he IS a hero, but, that heroic nature keeps peeking it’s nasty little head through.
One of the brilliant things that Dan has done on his Spidey run that you see exemplified perfectly in this story (or at least, Dan’s concept for it) is the idea of how much can you take away from Spidey and yet, let him be Spider-Man. Dan did it quite literally by switching the brain inside his head, and, even without a brain, we saw Spidey become a hero, in a darker way, obviously, but… With this, we’re taking away all of his identity, all of his guilt, all of his knowledge of the past few years of his life as Spidey, and, letting him loose. Seeing if the man beneath all of the tragedy and mistakes that shaped him might be just as much of a hero.
Oh yes, we have Iron Man show up, we have Mary Jane, and, my favorite guest star has got to be Spider-Man. Or, another Spider-Man. Maybe, in fact, the REAL Spider-Man.
For more with Gage and Superior Spider-Man Annual #2, check out CBR’s interview. For more with Fialkov about Amazing Spider-Man: Who Am I? check out Newsarama.